The entrepreneurs who are members of the textile entrepreneurs association ask the government to evaluate every trade agreement made with other countries. This is because a number of agreements are considered to have been detrimental to the textile industry in the country. "We are not against trade agreements, but we have to be calculated carefully," said Secretary General of the Indonesian Fiber and Filament Yarn Association (APSyFI) Redma Gita Wirawasta at a press conference in Jakarta, Thursday, January 14, 2021.
This is one of the points in the 9 statement of attitude conveyed by the textile entrepreneur after meeting with the Minister of Industry, Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita. Apart from APSyFI, this request was also voiced by the Indonesian Textile Association (API) and the Indonesian Textile Expert Association (IKATSI).
Redma gave an example of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area (FTA). According to him, this is one of the factors causing the local textile industry to start to decline. This is because import activities can be carried out with an import duty of 0 percent. Thus, the local industry must face head to head with the Chinese textile industry. According to Redma, this condition then made Indonesia's China trade balance now become a deficit. From the beginning, it was a surplus.
This kind of complaint has actually been submitted by entrepreneurs since last year. At that time, they complained about the increasing number of imported products from China, as well as from Turkey, which resulted in the absorption of local products being disrupted.
After imported curtains and fabrics, now it is the turn for the carpet and prayer mat market to be eroded due to unequal price competition. API Executive Secretary Rizal Tanzil Rakhman stated that the increase in imports of carpets and prayer rugs has reached 25.2 percent annually since 2017.
"Currently, the utilization of carpet and prayer mats is left at 40 percent, many of which have reduced production and workers because this condition is compounded by the pressure of Covid-19," said Rizal at the time, quoted from Bisnis.com.
He then explained that carpet products from China usually enter Indonesia at a price of US $ 2.5 per kilogram, while products from Turkey are valued at US $ 1.3 per kg. The price of this textile product is 40 percent cheaper compared to similar products produced domestically.